(CİHAN) A Turkish delegation is scheduled to travel to Tel Aviv for the second round of talks to negotiate the compensation Israel will pay to the families of the victims of a raid on the Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid ship in 2010.
This is the first time a high-level Turkish delegation will visit Israel in the two years since the ties between the two countries took a nosedive. The delegation will be headed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu.
Turkey hopes the sum of compensation that Israel will pay to the families of the Mavi Marmara raid victims will be determined at today's meeting.
The first compensation talks between the former allies were held in late April, when an Israeli delegation of high-ranking officials, led by Yaakov Amidror, an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, came to Ankara.
Officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry have explained that a text was agreed on at that time that sets the parameters within which the amount of compensation will be determined.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who is responsible for coordinating the compensation talks, stated earlier that “an important stage will have been reached in upgrading our bilateral relations with Israel to the ambassadors' level” once the two governments agree on compensation.
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel deteriorated after the raid, which ended with nine dead. Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended military agreements with Tel Aviv after Israel refused to comply with Turkish demands for an apology, compensation paid to the families of the dead and the lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza which the humanitarian aid vessel had been attempting to breach. So far, Israel has made an official apology but has said it will not end the blockade as part of its reconciliation with Turkey, instead saying that it may clamp down even harder on Palestinian territory if Israel's security is threatened.
Meanwhile, the families of the Mavi Marmara victims have stated several times that they will continue to insist on the continuation of criminal proceedings launched against the Israeli military personnel involved in the raid killings. The trial began in İstanbul in November of 2012 with the military officers being tried in absentia.
Turkish officials have stated on several occasions that Turkey's efforts to see the Gaza blockade have never been put on the backburner but that Turkey is so far content with the measures that Israel has taken to ease the existing blockade.Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2013, 11:08